Miss Mary's Art Space is a non-profit arts organization established to provide shared resources for area artists working in various mediums and at all levels of accomplishment.
The shape we take will depend on the people who choose to become involved. There is strong interest in performance and gallery space, a community darkroom, and concurrent programming of adult classes with structured children's activities.
Our hope is to become a creative incubator for artists and small arts groups by fostering an atmosphere - through shared learning and resources - that encourages creative thought and expression.
A Few of Our Program Goals:
Classes for Adults and Children
Community Dark Room
MMAS: A Brief History
Miss Mary’s started in 1999 with a small group musing on how the city needed a place where anyone could go and find support producing whatever art it was that interested them. The group incorporated as Miss Mary’s Art Space, Inc., attained nonprofit status, and started holding fundraisers – poetry readings, craft sales and dumpling eating contests to name a few.
By December of 2001, we had raised enough to rent the small space at #5 New Scotland Avenue. During the 10 months we were open there, community members produced a stunning range of programs. The space was closed due to a zoning/permit issue, and we had to cancel two months worth of scheduled events.
Since being closed, we’ve taken to the pages of Screed, a quarterly magazine and CD, which is made up entirely of work submitted by local artists of every flavor, and distributed around Albany for free. We also curated a three-month installation with performances at the C+CC in Troy called Mean Time. (Check out some great photos of the event on The Hidden City’s Web site: www.thehiddencity.com/moment/031027missmarys.html) Most recently we helped coordinate a community poetry event at Steamer No.10 called Swap Meet: A Poetry Mixer.
All of these projects embody the MMAS philosophy – that we exist to support artists however we can, providing a forum for the development and exhibition of their art. And we don’t jury. That is, we’ll include anyone who makes the effort, regardless of their age, level of accomplishment, or anything else.
Our number 1 goal in the year and a half since we closed on New Scotland has been to find a space – something bigger, we hope, and maybe even with parking – to fulfill our mission of providing an actual space for more projects like Screed, Mean Time and the poetry mixer.
A proven history of turning small dollars into big art
In 2002, Miss Mary’s provided a space for 7 gallery shows, 12 classes and workshops, 7 children’s events, three literary programs, a comedy show, 8 weekly or monthly open mics, and well over 30 music and mixed media performances in a 500 square foot storefront, for less than $7,000. Looking back – it really is incredible.
Between programming, donations and fundraising, the space was 100% self-sustaining. This is our goal for the new space. We hope you’ll get involved. It doesn’t take much to be a member – just help out at an event, volunteer to work on Screed, make a donation, or, when we get the new space, have a show. We’re 100% volunteer-run, so you get back what you put in.